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New Year’s Resolutions For Your Home

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Exterior Renovation & Landscape Construction

Friday, December 3rd, 2021 @ 9:19am

Most New Year’s resolutions are about self-improvement. Other people want to start a new habit, like regular exercise. But not a lot of people think about new year’s resolutions for their homes.

A healthy home is ground zero for a healthy life. To me that’s a no brainer. I think anyone experiencing issues with their home would agree with me. It invades every part of your life and your kids’ lives. So I’m giving you my top New Year’s resolutions for your home to help you stay ahead of the game and your home ready for a new year. 

Mike Holmes Mold Inspection

Mike Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr inspecting the bathroom, As seen on Holmes: Next Generation

#1 Take Care of the Home’s Exterior

Homeowners are always thinking about renovating the kitchen or a bathroom, knocking down a wall, or making a room bigger. They spend all their time choosing tiles, flooring, appliances, lighting. But you know where the money should be spent first? On your home’s exterior. I always say- Fix from the outside in.

Too many homeowners don’t realize that anything inside the home is at risk if you don’t take care of the outside. So they spend their savings on a kitchen renovation or a bathroom remodel. If you have problems with the roof, the foundation, the weeping tile, or the insulation—anything that has to do with your home’s building envelope—that new kitchen or bathroom might have to be torn down to address the problems behind them.

It’s only a matter of time before those problems make their way to the surface. Cracked tiles, ceiling leaks and indoor air quality issues can all happen if you don’t take care of the exterior.


A problem with your home’s exterior will eventually be a problem with your home’s interior. It’s only a matter of time.

Here are some resources to help with the exterior of your home:

Types of House Foundations Explained

New Windows – Here is What You Need To Know

Protecting Your Roof

#2 Assess Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

When it comes to the air you breathe do not take chances. You should be testing for radon—which is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers—mold and VOCs.

Radon Tester and Mike Holmes

Radon is the #1 leading cause of lung cancer besides smoking. Testing is easy.

The best advice I can give anyone interested in having a healthy home is to get a healthy home inspection. This is an inspection that looks at specific areas and systems in your home that impact your health. A qualified healthy home inspector will then compare your test results to national health and safety guidelines to verify if your home has potentially harmful levels.

My Mike Holmes Inspectors operate in select areas in Canada and will do a thorough assessment of your home.

The good news is making smarter, healthier choices for our home and your family is getting easier. You can make it a Happy New Year by making it a healthy one, too.





#3 Keep Water Away From Your House

We always want to direct water away from the home, especially around the foundation. That’s why we have grading, roofs, a system of eavestroughs and downspouts—all working to together to do one thing: drive water away from your house.

Help it out over winter. Shovel snow away from the foundation. You don’t want all that snow and moisture sitting up against it, because when it eventually melts you know where it will end up. 

Look for water stains in the attic, especially around the rafters. I’ve said it before, but your home’s first line of defense is its roof. The attic can tell you if it’s holding up.

Finishing your basement? Read this first.

Do You Have a Leaky Foundation? Here is How To Fix it.

Mike Holmes Foundation Crack

our foundation walls are under a lot of stress. Expanding and contracting soil, excessive moisture and drainage issues are some of the most common threats to your home’s foundation. We want the foundation to keep water on the outside. A leaking foundation needs to be addressed.

#4 Keep up with Seasonal Maintenance Checklists

This one is very important. When problems start happening in the home most people want to blame the builder or contractor or someone else. You think they used cheap materials or installed them incorrectly. But sometimes the source of the problem isn’t a bad contractor, sub trade or builder—it might be a little closer to home.

Nothing lasts forever unless you make sure it does. That means building it right and doing the proper maintenance.

There are maintenance tasks you can do yourself every season. Some of these are:

  • Change your furnace filters
  • Check your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans for blockages, and make sure they’re removing moisture
  • Check for cracks or holes in your home’s exterior walls and foundation
  • Clean out the gutters and check if they’ve corroded or disconnected 

Hire a professional to come to your home and do a thorough check of all its major systems. Have them check the roof, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), plumbing, electrical, the basement, the garage, the attic, the basement crawlspace—get them to check it all. This will help you know what the issues are and what needs to be addressed first.

If you are planning on renovating, your inspection checklist will give you an idea of what needs to be addressed first.

The Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist

Mike Holmes Inspecting A Deck

#5 Take A Look At Your Energy Usage

Do you unintentionally leave all the lights on when you leave the house? Is your thermostat always set too high?

You can start paying attention to these habits and adjust them, or you can work towards a “smart home”. A smart thermostat will save you money on your monthly bills. You can control your heating and cooling remotely (so you can turn up the heat just before you come home). You can also review your home’s energy consumption in real-time.

I also love automation hubs that allow you to control your lighting. Left the house and accidentally left the lights on? With an app you can turn them off.

The device will detect even the smaller water uses and sends data to the app. And if does detect a leak or flood? You can shut your water off remotely.

So there you go! A quick list of new year’s resolutions I want every single homeowner to make. PROTECT IT RIGHT!


The Complete Home Maintenance Checklist

A Holmes Guide To Renovations

Make It Right®